Attending Mass Tomorrow After Work

Hi, I plan on attending Mass for the feast of the Assumption but as it turns out I get off of work just when it starts, at 7PM, so I might be 20 minutes late. Does this still count? And can I receive communion even if I miss the Readings? On a related note, due to work I sometimes cannot find a Sunday Mass I can attend, so I watch one live online and participate as much as I can (say the responses, etc). Have I committed a mortal sin in this case by not attending mass physically? Thanks!

As far as I know, if you are able to make it before the homily, you’re still in for the mass.

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This is a matter of conscience and one to take up with your pastor. There is no definition from the Church of what ‘counts’ regardless of what well-meaning people may post on this thread (i.e. ‘you have to be there for X’ or ‘OK if you get there before Y’).

The Church simply says you have an obligation and the obligation is to attend the mass. That means all of it, not part of it.

Now, as far as being excused from the obligation-- that goes hand in hand but is a separate issue. You are excused from the obligation when you have a serious reason. For example, flat tire on the way to mass, it’s the only mass, and you get there 20 minutes late. While you don’t meet the obligation of attending the mass, you also are excused from it due to a serious reason out of your control. I would see work the same way-- it’s the mass you can attend, you can’t be there when it starts, you do what you can. I would say your obligation is mitigated due to your situation.

Receiving the Eucharist is in no way tied to whether you heard or “missed” the readings. You can receive the Eucharist inside or outside of Mass. You can receive the Eucharist twice in one day as long as the second time is at a mass you have participated in (excepting viaticum).

So, whether you heard the readings or not is not relevant to the reception of the Eucharist.

Then you are excused.

That is a nice thing to do. It’s not in any way required, nor does it meet your obligation. but is good.

But if you cannot attend mass, you do not have an obligation.

What makes you think it would be? We are excused for just reasons.


Nope. The Church has no such teaching. This comes up often, but is not true.


Nope, you’re fine!

I cannot attend because I work 24 hours tomorrow into Friday, 6am - 6am.

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If you truly don’t have any other Mass option that you could attend for the whole thing, then yes, it counts.

Yes, as long as you’re in a state of grace. Missing the Readings or being late for the Mass because you were working and couldn’t get there any faster, does not take you out of a state of grace.

It matters not whether you watch a Mass on TV. It’s a nice thing to do but it doesn’t fulfill your Sunday obligation.

Once again, if you truly have no other Mass option that you can get to because of your work, then you haven’t committed a sin by missing Mass. However, you might look into whether you can attend a Saturday vigil Mass or plan your work schedule in some way that you could have some time for Sunday Mass. You might also discuss with your priest.

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Thanks for enlightening me on that.

Thank you very much!

my son isn’t going to be able to make the Mass either. He works 7 am to 7 pm and there are no masses before 7 am or after 7 pm anywhere near us.

He’s lucky if he gets 1 Sunday a month off so hasn’t been able to go to Mass regularly. But it was the only job he could find.

Thanks all! I really appreciate all your responses!

Is there no other Mass at your Church tomorrow? Perhaps an early morning Mass?

Just do your VERY BEST to get there as soon as you can and speak to your Priest about it when you go to Confession.

Is there a Mass in another church that starts later than 7pm? As others have said it’s ok to arrive late if it’s out of your control but if you want to attend the whole Mass maybe another parish tomorrow night or a mass tonight at your or another parish.

A fellow parishioner told me that. Cos’ there was one time I was 5 mins. late for the mass, and one of the ushers told me that I can still make it, as long as it’s before the homily. However, despite of being told that, I still decided to leave the church and waited for the next mass to start, for the simple reasons that… I hate like being late, even for just a minute. Be it at work, going to mass, or meeting someone, I always come BEFORE time; and I also expect the other party to do the same. Tardiness and procrastination are very much against my principle. Granting there’s only one mass for the day, and I know I’m going to be late for it, I would still choose not to attend.

There was a school of thought pre-Vatican II that as long as you were there for the start of the Offertory prayers and stayed through the priest’s Communion, you had satisfied the obligation. I don’t believe that was ever an official binding teaching of the Church, however.

Yes, I know that is a very pervasive idea. Well meaning people tell other people this. It simply isn’t true though.

If you are late, it is up to you- it’s a prudential judgment- as to why you are late and whether you’ve met your obligation, and whether you have an obligation or whether you are excused.

That’s a prudential decision, one you should bring up with your pastor. If there is one mass and you are late or don’t attend it due to your own negligence that is not the same as being late or not attending due to a just reason.

Thanks. Peace!

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